"Tony, I do not need to go camping.
I know what you’re doing, and I..I’m fine.”
(“Life’s too short to hide who you love” - Scott)
will you take a grumpy ziva and an ever-supportive tony?
Monday morning dawns late for Ziva; her regular alarm clock never going off, and her internal alarm clock not rousing her until a solid half-hour after she was supposed to be up. She spends a good portion of the morning cursing Tony in her head, remembering he had turned off her alarm clock so it wouldn’t wake them Saturday morning. The other portion, praying that Gibbs isn’t present in the bullpen when she arrives at the office.
Ziva thinks she just may arrive on time– that is, until she’s pulled over for what she thinks could be her thirtieth speeding ticket since her arrival in the States. The woman that pulls her over is both blonde and perky in all the right places, and if her partner were with her, she had no doubt he’d talk his way out of this ticket on her behalf. But the woman has none of Tony’s warmth in her eyes and is all serious business. By the time Ziva’s ripping the ticket out of the woman’s hands, she barely has a handle on restraining her inner ninja.
Her fury is hardly restrained when the elevators release her on their designated floor. Though she doesn’t open her mouth, both Tony and McGee see the answer for her tardiness clear on her face.
Evidently Tony is the kind of good mood that often makes him oblivious, because his eyes turn teasing and he doesn’t seem to read the warning in her glowering expression.
“What’d they nab you for this time?”
Ziva punches the button on her computer monitor with unnecessary force and sweeps dangerously narrowed eyes over to his side of the bullpen.
“Intending to commit homicide.” She lobs a paperclip at deathly speed in his direction. It whizes right by his ear.
Tony yelps and ducks his head while McGee snorts.
Ziva cracks her first and only smile of the day.
Monday morning has only just begun, and by Tuesday she will realize it was but a prelude to the misfortune to plague the entire week yet to come.
Monday has hardly ended for her when Tuesday begins. The buzzing of her phone wakes her abruptly at two a.m. and the shock causes her to reach for the cold metal of her gun underneath her pillow. But when the buzzing of her phone registers with her brain, she groans tiredly and loosens her grip on the weapon. Uncurling her fingers, she unearths her hand from the bed and reaches blindly for her nightstand.
She makes several attempts to grab her phone and finds it just before the call automatically ends. She manages a faint David and is greeted by orders from Gibbs to get dressed, ready, and meet at a crime scene some thirty minutes away. He orders her to grab DiNozzo on her way and doesn’t wait for her grumbled response before hanging up, which is fortunate for her.
When she makes it to Tony’s apartment about twenty minutes later, he’s ready to go and has mercifully even prepared coffee for them both. It’s a testament to how grumpy she is when he doesn’t even make a crack about how her abilities to run on minimal sleep have very clearly suffered since becoming a citizen. Instead he smiles kindly at her and softly untangles the keys from her hand, silently volunteering himself to drive. They’re both running on three hours of sleep, but it seems Tony is in much better shape to function as they climb into her car.
She nods off against his head with her hand curled in his on the gear-shift, and later she will swear it was that quiet car-ride and his touch that got her through the next eight hours spent at their crime scene under pouring rain.
She felt it as they returned back to headquarters the night before; soaking, drenched, and cold to the bone after spending hours in the pouring rain. She was shivering still when they all ran to the showers; shutting off the water long after both Tony and McGee’s stalls on either side of her opened and closed, and sneezing by the time she was unlocking the door to her darkened apartment.
She’s so disoriented by Wednesday morning that the only energy she can exert is to reach for her phone and type a jumbled text message to McGee. She knows he will be the first in the office, and will at the very least tell Gibbs she can’t make it in before they can worry. She drops the phone somewhere beside her pillow and rolls over to get comfortable again. Shivering from the air that shifts and escapes in the flurry of sheets, her muddled brain tells her that she very likely has a fever and, unwillingly, drags herself from the warm cocoon of her bed and toward her bathroom.
She’s not one to rely on or even keep medicine in her home, but she knows that she has leftover flu medicine from taking care of Tony at the beginning of winter and is desperate enough in that moment to use it. She unearths it finally from behind men’s shaving gel and and a stick of Tony’s favored deodorant, and as she pushes in the second drawer of her bathroom counter, she wonders vaguely when her partner had monopolized half the bathroom for himself and when he had claimed an entire drawer.
Ziva makes it to her bed just as the medicine knocks her out, and so she doesn’t see the answering text from McGee, nor the following text messages and phone call from her partner. It’s not even an hour later when she’s pulled from a drug-induced sleep to the sound of her deadbolt tumbling and heavy footsteps treading slowly through her apartment. The familiar weight of the steps instantly calms her though, and she’s half-asleep again when she hears her bedroom door slowly creak open and softly shut again. Faint sounds carry down the hall from the kitchen as her body battles between sleep and consciousness, but she doesn’t truly wake for nearly another hour.
When she does finally her eyes, she’s met with the welcoming sight of Tony sitting against the headboard beside her. He has her lap-sized table balanced over his out-stretched legs; supporting a mug of tea, a bowl of soup, and a reecntly purchased box of medication. His eyes are on the muted television screen, glowing dimly from the corner of her room. With an indulgent smile, she reaches for his hand; it brings a smile of his own to his face, and his thumb traces over the back of hand gently.
The touch is all that keeps her from raging about the the turn her week has taken.
Her body hasn’t nearly recovered, but Thursday calls for her undivided attention at work. The team picks up a case with a missing Marine and their only lead is his way-ward daughter; a decade having passed since either of the two had spoken. The case leaves a bitter taste in her mouth, and it only gets worse when her father calls unexpectedly around the time her and Tony leave the building to head out the Marine’s last known place of residence.
Tony waits inside the car as he watches their conversation unfold outside of it; silently at first, but then with escalating intensity as the minutes pass that puts him on edge. He doesn’t realize his knuckles are turning white from his grip on the door’s handle as he watches Ziva shout something furiously back across the line and finally drop the phone from her ear, as if the touch burns her. She pockets the device and blinks angry tears from her eyes, taking a moment to breathe deeply and calm herself before slipping inside the passenger door.
He doesn’t press her as she orders him to drive and falls into a pensive silence. He knows that months will go by before the next angry phone call, just as they did for each call that preceded this one.
Handing her a tissue from the pack she’d been carrying around to fight off her sneezing, he drops his hand to her knee to squeeze it and doesn’t pull away for the remainder of the ride.
She has high hopes for Friday, for the temperature rises significantly and the sun shines brightly through the heavy rain-clouds plaguing the Capitol. But her hope is gone as quickly as it had appeared when Vance materializes between their desks at zero-nine hundred, bearing orders for mandatory psych evaluations and informing Ziva she’s up first.
She’s never liked the woman who has conducted all of her previous sessions, and she discovers quickly that hasn’t changed. And it’s not because Dr. Lee has a cold, calculated expression or that she spent the weeks during their mandatory sessions referring to her time in the desert in a clinical and dismissive tone, but the way she pokes and prods at every inch of Ziva’s life, strikes her in the weakest areas. She often leaves these sessions feeling the old sting of Ari’s betrayal and Jenny’s death as if they were recent events; fresh anger at her father’s detachment and acute awareness of just how desperately dependent on Tony she has allowed herself to become.
When she returns to the bullpen, she doesn’t feel his eyes leave her for the remainder of the afternoon they spend behind their desks.
She’s not surprised when she finds him behind her door that night, because each and every time these evaluations occur, the nightmares come back and haunt her. Later, when she closes her eyes and slowly drifts off, she’s aware it’s only being held in Tony’s possessive hold that allows sleep to take her.
When she wakes Saturday with her limbs tangled in Tony’s, a calm that has alluded her all week radiates from her very bones. His hand trails under her shirt and over her taut stomach, bringing a sleepy smile to her face. She intertwines their legs together even tighter under the sheets, and his warm breath fans across her neck when a soft chuckle escapes his lips. She trails her foot up his calf and laughs when he shivers. He takes his time waking up with her; lingering touches that slowly turn into leisurely kisses, and she’s settled atop of him longer before he peels the clothes from her body. And while the the toll of the week still lingers in the shadows under her eyes and in the soft sighs she breathes against his skin, he slowly makes her forget every moment of their week under his gentle touch and the kisses he presses against her body with a grin.
Ziva and Her Mini
↳ “Because I really liked my Mini.”
Amy Poehler delivers wisdom just as well as she delivers jokes.